Tag Archives: wildlife

Charlie’s Consolation Prize

Disciples of The Leader Otis,

Brother Henry Here. I saw the whole thing! I was sitting on the cat tree in the front window when it happened! The Limbo Cat named Charlie from across the street almost caught a squirrel! I think it might have even been the squirrel that sometimes taunts me from the fence when I look out the window in the office. Anyway, it all started when I looked down at the walkway under the window and noticed Charlie hanging out there. I don’t think I knew I was watching him.

Charlie sitting on sidewalk.

I noticed Charlie sitting on the walkway in front of the house. I don’t think he saw me.

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Little Diggy-guy Down

People and fur people who like The Leader Otis,

It’s Thomas. There will probably not be anything new to report about Leader Otis’s condition until he has his next Bad Place visit, but The Brothers and I are going to continue to take turns updating the blog until The Leader feels better. Sadly, today I have the death of another wildling at the paws and jaws of the Limbo kitties to report. In the backyard, the Guardians discovered the chewed body of one of the little diggy-guys that help them aerate their garden. I heard them refer to the diggy-guy as “Mole”, so I guess that was his name. The poor little guy’s digging days have come to a premature end.

Cat killed Mole

The Limbo Kitties killed one of the little diggy-guys in the garden. Poor little guy.

The Guardians don’t think Mama Cat was the culprit in this wildlife killing. They saw at least three other cats in the yard on the day the diggy-guy’s body turned up. Also, Mama did not seem particularly interested in presenting the diggy-guy as a gift to the Guardians, the way she did when she killed a crunchy birdie a few weeks ago.

Mama Cat looking uninterested

We don’t think Mama killed the doggy-guy. There were three other Limbo Kitties in the yard on the day he was found.

Regardless of who crunched the diggy-guy, I could tell it made the Guardians sad. As with the birdie that Mama crunched, they decided to make sure the little diggy-guy’s death was not completely in vain. They placed his body on a table in the backyard, where it would be highly visible to the neighborhood crows. I guess the crows are currently raising crunchy baby crows, and the Guardians thought they might like to feed the diggy-guy to the babies. Sure enough, less than 20 minutes after they put the diggy-guy on the table, I saw a huge, crunchy crow flying away with the body. I watched from a window as I was safely confined inside the house. If all kitties were kept so, the little diggy-guy would still be out there digging, and the kitties themselves would have longer, healthier lives.

Thomas Out

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It’s In Our Nature

My Disciples,

The release of the results of a recent study on what kills wildlife has been stirring controversy among the masses. According to the study, outdoor kitties kill a staggering number of wild birds and mammals. Why the study didn’t also mention that we kill huge numbers of reptiles, amphibians, insects and “other” is beyond Me. I certainly went after everything that moved when I was wandering in the world without walls. Most other outdoor cats do the same.

Dead Kinglet

We do kill stuff. We really do.

The only thing that surprises Me about this study is that anyone would be surprised to discover that we cats kill a ton of animals! We’re cats! Our killer instinct is the very thing that brought us, and kept us, close enough to humans for the domestication process to begin. You see, you all liked to grow and store grain. That grain attracted lots of rodents. We like to kill and eat rodents so we were like, “Hey everybody! These weird two-legged animals know how to attract a meal! Let’s all go hang out with them for a millennium or two!” You noticed us taking care of all those pesky rodents and you appreciated us for it. You showed your appreciation by taking care of us. As the centuries passed, we became more and more dependent on your care until we were no longer able to fully care for ourselves.

Picture of innocence

Look what domestication has done to us! Actually, it’s kind of awesome.

So now, thousands of years later, here we are. We are dependent on you now, but we are no less predatory than we were when we first met you. I’m not ashamed of it. It’s who and what I am. It’s up to My Guardians to make sure I’m not acting out these urges on vulnerable little wild creatures. It’s a responsibility they accepted when they brought Me into their lives. And the only way to be sure I’m not out there carrying out My bloody biological imperative is to keep Me safely locked away from the places that wild creatures roam. This is not a hardship for Me. The Guardians have a wide variety of artificial birds, mice and other inanimate animals that can withstand My predatory assaults without suffering a single broken bone or painful puncture wound. Oh, but that doesn’t stop Me from going after any fly or spider unlucky enough to find it’s way into My indoor domain. So even My sport is not 100% bloodless.

Henry On the Attack

Here’s how we can make a “kill” without killing anything.

The exciting thing is, if you are a cat Guardian you have the opportunity to ensure that you are not responsible for adding to the billions of wild animals that are killed each year by My kind. All you have to do is make sure your kitty is safely confined. As an added bonus you’ll be able to rest assured that larger wild animals won’t eat kitty. Everybody wins!

Thomas and Sparrow

Yay! Everybody wins!

Yes, I know there is more to this story than cats with Guardians. Remember, I was the son of two feral cats. But I believe all positive change starts at home. Once your own house is in order, then you will be in a better position to start effecting change on a wider scale. Please do the right thing, for both your kitties and the wildlings. Keep your kitty happy, healthy, and safely confined.

So Sayeth Otis

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Making the Neighborhood Safer for Wildlings

My Disciples,

The Brothers, the Guardians and I were all very sad after one of our neighborhood wildlings lost his life to a car. The Guardians know they will never be able to make the roads completely safe for the wildlings, but they did decide to at least do what they could to raise the awareness of people driving by. To that end, they put up a new sign in front of our house this morning.

Raccoon Crossing Sign

Here is the sign that the Guardians erected in front of the house. It’s not much, but at least it might make people look more carefully for wildlings as they are driving by.

The Guardians figured this was the least they could do for the wildlings considering how helpful they have been in the garden. If the sign even gets just one person to slow down and look, or stop texting long enough to keep their eyes on the road, then it has served its purpose.

So Sayeth Otis

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Sadness Sunday

My Disciples,

This morning was crazy and scary and, ultimately sad. One of the Guardians had to work today, so she got up early, went through her morning routine and headed out the front door. Moments after she left she came running back inside. She ran to the bedroom, shouting to the other Guardian and I only caught pieces of what she said. I heard the words, “emergency”, “help”, “hit by car”, “hurry” and “road”. I was chilled to the bone thinking that Mama Cat, Nacho, Cookie, Whisper, Beatrice, Minerva or any of the other dozen or so Limbo cats living nearby had been hit by a car, but then I heard the word “raccoon”.

So, one of the wildlings had been hit. This news was no less sad, and now I wondered if it was the big ‘ol male I call “The Beast” or the dainty female who helps the Guardians in their garden. I was worried for both of them.

Garden Helper

From the Guardians’ conversation, I deduced that a Raccoon had been hit by a car. I hoped it wasn’t anyone I had met, but it was sad no matter who it was.

The Guardian that had been sleeping got dressed in about four seconds and went running out the door with a pair of leather gloves. The other Guardian grabbed a box and followed. When the Guardians came back in they both smelled of stress and blood. This scared Me so I ran and hid. When I came back out, both of them were gone. I knew they were OK, but I was still worried about the wildling.

Otis sad about wildling

After the Guardians left, I came out of hiding, but I was still worried about the fate of the wildling.

The Guardian that had jumped out of bed returned over an hour later. As he came in the door, I could smell the sadness on him. He came over to the couch where I was resting, patted Me on the head and said, “He didn’t make it buddy.” I gave him My best, “everything’s OK” look, and then settled back on the couch to reflect on what had happened.

The fate of this Raccoon is a stark reminder of the danger that cars pose to cats and wildlings alike. Wildlings don’t have Guardians that are responsible for preventing them from being in harm’s way, but cats do. If a Raccoon is struck by a car, it is a sad, unfortunate accident. If a cat is hit by a car it is even sadder, because the cat should not have been allowed to be in the road in the first place.

Please watch out for both the wildlings and the Limbo kitties while you are out there on the road. And please be true Guardians to your own kitties and keep them safely out of harm’s way.

So Sayeth Otis

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Wildling Close Encounter Part III- Beatrice In Harm’s Way

My Disciples,

When we last left off, The Brothers and I had just experienced a close encounter with a female Raccoon. She had looked at us, but then turned to leave. As she was leaving, Beatrice entered the yard and found herself right in the path of the departing Raccoon. The smart thing would have been for her to back down and give the Raccoon room to pass, but we cats don’t always have the best judgement about these things. That’s why we need true Guardians who will keep us physically separated from wildlings like Raccoons so we stay out of trouble. Anyway, instead of moving aside, Beatrice hunkered down right in the path of the oncoming Raccoon. The Raccoon changed course to go around her, but Beatrice hissed loudly just as the Raccoon passed by.

Raccoon, Beatrice 2

Beatrice should have just gotten out of the way and let the Raccoon pass, but we cat’s don’t always have good judgement when dealing with wildlings. Instead she hissed at the Raccoon.

The Raccoon seemed a little bit startled by Beatrice’s hiss. It also seemed to peak her curiosity. Instead of continuing on out of the yard, the Raccoon paused, and circled to the right as if she wanted to get a closer look at this white ball of fluff that was making strange noises. Brother Oliver let out a very concerned sounding yowl as we all watched the events unfold.

Raccoon, Beatrice 2

The Raccoon circled around to get a closer look at Beatrice. Brother Oliver was concerned and let out a yowl.

Just as tensions seemed to be reaching the breaking point, the Guardians appeared at the door to My Outdoor Domain to see what Brother Oliver was yowling about. They saw the standoff that was happening between Beatrice and the Raccoon and exited My Outdoor Domain to herd the Raccoon away. The Raccoon quickly complied, clearly wanting nothing to do with the Guardians. We all breathed a huge sigh of relief, but Beatrice didn’t seem to grasp the danger she was just in. She walked up to the enclosure and said, “Did you guys see that? That weird cat is always giving me trouble.” Brother Henry and Brother Oliver exchanged bewildered glances with one another and I smacked My paw against My forehead. Then I said, “Beatrice, that’s not a cat. It’s a Raccoon.”

Upon hearing this, I think the weight of what had just happened finally sunk in for Beatrice. Her eyes spread wide with fear, and she was as white as a sheet. Well…I guess she is always as white as a sheet, but the wide eyes were a definite give away that she realized she had been in danger. Then again, maybe that was just wishful thinking, because the next thing she said was, “What the heck is a Raccoon?”

So Sayeth Otis

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Wildling Close Encounter Part II- An Even Closer Encounter

My Disciples,

When we left off yesterday, a female Raccoon was eating snails and slugs in the Guardians’ garden. I had just shouted to her to see if she might let Me try one of the tasty snails she was eating. I guess I should have thought a little bit more about what I was doing before I shouted though. Wildlings don’t speak catonese, and they can also sometimes be unpredictable and/or dangerous to cats. In fact, they are one of the many good reasons to keep cats safely confined. And here I had just yelled at one and drawn her attention to us! She looked over with a hard to decipher look in her eyes.

Raccoon looking at Otis and The Brothers

When I yelled at the Raccoon, she looked over at us with a hard to decipher look in her eyes. It made Me uncomfortable. I shouldn’t have drawn her attention to us.

After staring at us for a moment, the Raccoon began to walk toward us! Brother Henry attempted to shove himself between Me and the wire saying, “Get behind me Leader Otis! We don’t know what she plans to do!” I know I should have listened to Brother Henry, but I’m ashamed to say that I resisted a little bit and tried to stay up next to the wire. You see, I kind of thought that the Raccoon might have understood Me and that maybe she was bringing over a tasty snail for Me to try. When she got up close though, I could see that she hadn’t understood a word I said. She seemed to be trying to figure The Brothers and I out though.

Closer Encounter

The Raccoon came up close to look at us. Brother Henry told Me to get behind him, but I resisted in case the Raccoon was going to give Me a tasty snail.

The Raccoon did not give Me a snail. She turned to leave and Brother  Henry breathed a sigh of relief. He said, “Whew! Looks like we’re out of the woods everybody, I think she’s leav……OH NO!” Brother Henry’s sudden concern was due to the fact that Beatrice had come into the yard and the Raccoon was now headed in her direction. I saw this too and shouted, “Run Bea! Run!” But it was too late.

So Sayeth Otis

Tomorrow- Wildling Close Encounter Part III- Beatrice In Harm’s Way

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Wildling Close Encounter Part I- The She-beast Cometh

My Disciples,

This morning as the Brothers and I entered My Outdoor Domain, we saw something that made us all yowl with surprise. A large wildling was walking along the cement wall next door. It was a Raccoon, and at first I thought it was the mighty beast that Brother Henry and then the Guardians had faced down several weeks ago. But then I noticed that this one was smaller, and smelled like a girl. Still, My heart leapt into My throat when she passed within a few inches of Mama Cat, who did not seem to understand that she might be in danger.

Raccoon and Mama Cat

The Raccoon passed right by Mama Cat. Mama Cat just sat there.

Fortunately, the Raccoon didn’t take an interest in Mama Cat. Instead she jumped down off the wall, and The Brothers and I watched as she approached the Guardians’ garden. I said, “Uh-oh. Looks like the Guardians are going to lose all those nasty tasting strawberries that they seem to like so much…”

Watching the Raccoon 1

The Raccoon jumped down off the wall and went over to the garden. I thought she was going to eat the Guardians’ strawberries.

To My surprise, the Raccoon did not eat any of the strawberries. Instead, she started feeling around in the strawberry patch and pulling out slugs and snails. She popped each one into her mouth as if they were tasty little freeze-dried chicken treats or something. The Brothers and I were mesmerized.

Raccoon eating slugs and snails.

I thought the Raccoon was going to eat strawberries, but instead she started eating slugs and snails.

As I watched the Raccoon, I began to think that maybe those little slugs and snails really were tasty treats. I mean, the Raccoon seemed to really like them. I have never eaten a slug or snail so for all I know they are the most delicious things in the history of everything ever. I’m not sure what came over Me, but I yelled at the Raccoon, “Hey! Wildling! Can I try one of those tasty snails!?” Brother Henry gasped and said, “Leader Otis, what are you doing!?” But it was too late, I had drawn the Raccoon’s attention, and now she seemed to take an interest in us.

So Sayeth Otis

Tomorrow- Wildling Close Encounter Part II- An Even Closer Encounter

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